European libraries may not sound very interesting but please read on. If a private library “represents the mind of its collector, his fancies and foibles, his strength and weakness, his prejudices and preferences”, as Sir William Osler said, we could say that public libraries present mentality and spirit of the community; its history and, therefore, future. There are many libraries in Europe that have cherished and promoted books as a sacrosanct media for knowledge transfer and development of human consciousness over the centuries. Although some European libraries are housed in marvellous historical buildings that are cultural monuments themselves, a true heritage of a nation and human kind in general lies on dusty shelves, between the covers and, often, between the lines. The following list presents 8 Fabulous Libraries in Europe that are must-see not only for bookworms, but for all those who feel a bit lost in the values of the material world.
1. Abbey Library of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Designed in the Rococo style with carved polished wood, this amazing, awe-inspiring library keeps almost 160,000 volumes, among which there are many invaluable manuscripts and incunabulum. The oldest library in Switzerland, one of the oldest European libraries, and one of the most significant medieval libraries in the world, the Abbey Library of St. Gallen is located in a great Carolingian monastery, which has been recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.